About NatureTrack Film Festival
Welcome to your new favorite film festival, where nature takes center stage on screen and blooms in abundance throughout one of California’s most scenic valleys.
Situated just 25 miles inland from the seaside beauty of Santa Barbara lies the bucolic Santa Ynez Valley; home to world class wineries, race horses, Danish pastries, award winning breweries, famous split pea soup, majestic oak studded hillsides, and scenic Lake Cachuma.
The NatureTrack Film Festival will return Mar 22-24, 2019, in the picturesque town of Los Olivos and will feature films curated to “ignite passion for nature through film.” NatureTrack Film Festival founder and director Sue Eisaguirre conceived the idea for a local film festival as an extension of the nonprofit NatureTrack that she started in 2011. NatureTrack introduces school children to outdoor spaces from the seashore to the inland oak woodlands. As Sue says, “The natural beauty of the Santa Ynez Valley with its proximity to the coast and Los Padres National Forest, among other scenic attractions, makes it an ideal location for a film festival dedicated to the great outdoors,” and we think you’ll agree!
The NatureTrack Film Festival will kick-off on Friday, March 22, 2019, with an opening reception preceding a full evening of films. A full slate of films will be offered on Saturday, and the festival will conclude on Sunday with a half day of programming and a closing reception. Films will screen at three venues in Los Olivos: St. Mark’s-In-The-Valley Episcopal Church, Gates Foss Center at Los Olivos School, and the Santa Ynez Valley Grange #644.
Organizers are planning to incorporate filmmaker meet and greets and panels; but festival goers may well encounter a director or producer for a casual chat in one of the shops and restaurants that Los Olivos is famous for.
NatureTrack will also be offering docent led hikes for those wishing to take advantage of the abundant natural beauty of the Santa Ynez Valley for a more immersive outdoor experience. So don’t forget your outdoor footwear or hiking boots! The festival is timed to take advantage of the explosive wildflower bloom that carpets the local Santa Ynez Valley hillsides and nearby Grass Mountain in particular. This is a not-to-be-missed nature event that attracts wildflower enthusiasts from all over the Valley, California, and beyond.
If hiking isn’t your thing then perhaps biking is. The temperate Santa Ynez Valley is a bicyclist’s dream destination with easy touring between winery stops or more challenging elevation climbs in the close-at-hand Santa Ynez mountains. Enjoy the same country roads that Team BMC, with American rider Tejay van Garderen, practices on every February in preparation for the Tour de France or follow the routes that former Tours de California have taken through the vineyards and charming local towns of Santa Ynez, Ballard, and Solvang. Afterwards you may want to pop over to Buellton where a food, spirits, beer, and wine renaissance has transformed its industrial center into a destination dining spot for locals and travelers alike.
Simply put there is no shortage of scenery to take in or things to do when you attend the NatureTrack Film Festival. A trip out to Grass Mountain takes you by the front gates of the former Neverland Ranch, which was once home to the King of Pop – Michael Jackson. A short drive between Solvang and Buellton takes you by an ostrich farm and two restaurants immortalized in the movie Sideways (the third restaurant, the Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Cafe, with its famous wine wall featured in Sideways, is located within Los Olivos). An excursion to Santa Barbara sends you over the scenic San Marcos Pass past Lake Cachuma or down Hwy 101 along the beautiful Gaviota coast. Take your pick; take one highway there and the other back! A short drive up Hwy 101 to Los Alamos deposits you in the middle of a sleepy little western town that is now a top food, wine, and arts destination.
The NatureTrack Film Festival menu will also be curated to please, giving audiences a taste for the diverse natural landscapes that stretch across Santa Barbara County from surf break to Cachuma Lake. Other film selections will offer global perspectives on the wonders of the natural world and explore the relationship humans have with our one and only Earth.
We encourage you to mark your calendars now and join us for the NatureTrack Film Festival weekend next March 22-24, 2019.